Kenya is in the processes of shutting down two main refugee camps in the country, citing terrorism threats.
The government on Friday disbanded the department of refugee affairs which will pave way for the closure of Dadaab and Kakuma refugee camps.
The country’s Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho said in a statement that the country has continued to shoulder the very heavy economic, security and environmental burden by hosting the refugees in the camps.
The government acknowledges that this decision will have adverse effects on the lives of refugees but Kenya will no longer be hosting them.
“The government acknowledges that this decision will have adverse effects on the lives of refugees but Kenya will no longer be hosting them,” he added.
He also requested the international community to back the decision so that the process of closing the camps is efficient and it is done in the least painful way for the refugees.
In November 2013, Kenya, Somalia and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees ( UNHCR) signed an agreement to repatriate one million refugees to Somalia.
Last year, Kenya had said it would close down Dadaab refugee camp but backtracked on the decision after intense pressure from the international community.
The Dadaab refugee camp in northeast of the country was established in 1991 and is the world’s largest refugee camp hosting over 300,000 refugees mostly of Somali origin while Kakuma in the north west hosts over 150,000 refugees mostly from South Sudan and Sudan.